Monday, 16 September, 2019

Chinese lunar rover finds strange 'gel-like' substance on moon

China's lunar rover has found something weird on the moon's far side China's lunar rover finds something weird on far side of moon
Sandra Phillips | 03 September, 2019, 15:56

Yutu-2 approached the crater with the odd substance and examined the area with its Visible and Near-Infrared Spectrometer (VNIS), an instrument used to detect scattered light or light reflected off of materials to reveal their makeup.

Mission team members who were checking images as seen by the rover's main camera found a small crater with what appears to be a material with color and luster different from the surrounding surface.

Cue the Aliens theme, because the Chinese exploratory rover on the moon's far side has found something... rather...

While exploring the far side of the moon, China's Chang'e-4 lunar rover has discovered an unusually colored, "gel-like" substance. Since the original announcement, there have been no updates on the substance, but the Chinese publication People's Daily reports that scientists are now analyzing it.

Yutu-2carefully approached the crater and then targeted the unusually coloredmaterial and its surroundings. The team used the rover's Visible and Near-Infrared Spectrometer to study the area. It made the discovery during lunar day 8, which started on July 25.

It previously found that the composition of the Moon's surface is different to what scientists expected. Well, for now, the Chinese team behind the Chang'e-4 lunar mission is being tightlipped about the find and have only stated that the substance is gel-like and has an "unusual color".

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Chang'e-4 launched in early December 2018, and made the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon on January 3.

Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt spotted orange-coloured regolith near the mission's Taurus-Littrow landing site in 1972.

Following the landing, the rover "Pragyan" will roll out from lander "Vikram" and carry out experiments on the lunar surface for a period of one lunar day, which is equal to 14 earth days. It was eventually determined that the soil was created during a volcanic eruption 3.64 billion years ago.

On July 28, the Chang'e-4 team was preparing to power Yutu-2 down for a scheduled midday "nap" to protect the rover from the sun's scorching temperatures and brutal radiation.

During lunar day 9, Yutu-2 will continue its journey west, take a precautionary six-day nap around local noontime, and power down for a ninth lunar night around September 5, about 24 hours hours ahead of local sunset.

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